The Diamondbacks have activated first baseman Paul Goldschmidt from the paternity leave list. He’s slated to return to the starting lineup this afternoon against the Cubs.
Goldschmidt missed two games this week to be wife his wife, Amy, for the birth of their first child. Fortunately, all went well with wife and baby.
Goldschmidt, 27, is batting .322/.437/.563 with 27 home runs, 97 RBI, and 21 stolen bases over 133 games this season. He’s likely the biggest challenger to Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the National League MVP Award.
The Nationals still have a lot of work to do, but they are trying to make things interesting in the National League East.
Michael Taylor slugged a pinch-hit, walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning last night as part of a 5-2 win over the Braves.
The Braves held a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the ninth before Matt den Dekker delivered a game-tying pinch-hit single with two outs against Arodys Vizcaino. After Jonathan Papelbon pitched his second straight scoreless inning, Bryce Harper led off the bottom of the 10th with a walk against Matt Marksberry. Brandon Cunniff entered the game to pitch to Ryan Zimmerman, but gave up a single to move Harper to third. Taylor, who has been dealing with a knee issue over the past two days, then hit for Papelbon and sent everyone home happy.
The Nationals have won three straight games and sit at 69-65 on the year. The Mets lost to the Marlins last night, so Washington is five games back in the NL East with 28 games to play. The two teams will begin a huge three-game series Monday in Washington, D.C., but the Nationals will try to pick up more ground by beating up on the Braves this weekend.
Your Friday box scores and AP recaps:
Diamondbacks 5, Cubs 14
Rays 2, Yankees 5
Orioles 10, Blue Jays 2
Indians 8, Tigers 1
Phillies 5, Red Sox 7
Braves 2, Nationals 5 (10 innings)
Mets 5, Marlins 6 (11 innings)
White Sox 12, Royals 1
Pirates 9, Cardinals 3
Twins 0, Astros 8
Rangers 2, Angels 5
Giants 1, Rockies 2
Mariners 11, Athletics 8
Dodgers 8, Padres 4
Brewers/Reds – postponed
Bryce Harper didn’t have an official at-bat tonight, but he still made a major impact in the Nationals’ 15-1 blowout victory over the Braves.
Harper walked in all four of his plate appearances and scored four runs. One of the walks came with the bases loaded, so he was also credited with an RBI. This is actually the second time this season that Harper has walked four times and scored four runs in the same game. He also pulled it off on August 18 against the Rockies. According to ESPN Sports & Info, Harper the first player to do it twice in the same season since Dom DiMaggio in 1950.
Perhaps more amazingly, Harper didn’t swing at any of the 20 pitches he saw tonight. According to ESPN Sports & Info, that’s the second-most pitches without a swing in a game over the past 10 seasons. Juan Uribe saw 21 pitches without a swing in a game in 2010.
Harper is batting .331/.464/.627 with 31 home runs and 79 RBI in 126 games this season. He leads the National League in batting average and leads the majors in on-base percentage and OPS. Oh, and he’s 22 years old.
Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper is back in the starting lineup today after leaving last night’s game with a glute injury.
Harper’s mid-game departure led to speculation on Twitter that manager Matt Williams had pulled him for some kind of disciplinary reason, which as you can guess had Nationals fans even more ready than usual to fire Williams.
Instead it turned out to be a relatively minor injury and now the NL’s leading MVP candidate is batting third versus the Braves. And with Michael Taylor hurt, Harper is playing center field.